Maryland is a fault state for car accident claims. In other words, you must prove that the other driver caused the accident (was at fault) to recover compensation for your injuries, losses, and damages. However, Maryland is also a pure contributory negligence state, which can bar you from recovering any compensation in some cases. For those two reasons, video evidence of a car accident can be extremely important for winning a personal injury case. A Maryland car accident attorney can help you search for video evidence after a car accident to improve your chance of receiving compensation for your damages.
Sources of Video Evidence After a Car Accident
Before we discuss why it is important to have video evidence of a car crash, let’s discuss some of the sources for video evidence after a traffic accident. Below are examples of sources we might look to for obtaining video evidence of a traffic collision:
- Businesses and Government Buildings
Many businesses and government buildings have security cameras that capture the streets surrounding the building. For instance, a bank may have ATM cameras and security cameras. A business may have security cameras at each entrance of the building that captures the street. We contact businesses and government entities to request copies of the video, including sending subpoenas when necessary to obtain the footage.
- Residential Security Cameras
Some homeowners also have security cameras around the property that capture what happens in the street. We contact homeowners to determine if they have a camera. If so, we notify the homeowner to maintain the footage and serve a subpoena demanding copies of the video footage.
- Traffic Cameras
Drivers in Maryland are aware that the state utilizes traffic cameras, red-light cameras, and speed cameras to assist law enforcement agencies in performing their duties. Traffic cameras can be an excellent source for video evidence after a car accident. Many county and local governments also use traffic cameras and red-light cameras within their jurisdiction. Because traffic cameras operate 24/7, they capture many of the traffic accidents throughout the state.
The process for requesting traffic camera or red-light camera footage varies depending on the agency. For example, the Baltimore Police Department has a form to request CCTV footage. CCTV cameras in Annapolis, Cambridge, and Anne Arundel County are also regulated by the police department. To obtain video evidence from traffic cameras, you need to contact the agency which monitors and maintains the camera to determine the procedure for requesting and obtaining video evidence.
- Private Video
In rare cases, a private individual may have captured the accident on video. It can be difficult to locate these videos. In catastrophic accidents, a law firm may publish a public notice requesting anyone with video evidence to come forward.
Requesting Video Evidence Can Be Challenging and Difficult
Because the procedure for requesting and obtaining video evidence from law enforcement agencies and government agencies vary, it can make the process of obtaining video footage of an accident challenging. Also, if an individual or private company owns the video, you may need a subpoena to obtain the footage.
Working with a Maryland car accident attorney can make the process easier. Your attorney handles the investigation into the accident, including identifying potential video sources and working to obtain the video footage.
Why is Video Evidence Important in a Maryland Car Accident Case?
Maryland is a pure contributory negligence state for motor vehicle accidents. If an accident victim contributes to the cause of the crash, the law states that the victim is barred from recovering any compensation from the other party. Therefore, if you are even one percent at fault for the cause of the collision, you receive nothing for your car accident claim.
Video evidence can be extremely important when the other party is alleging you were partially at fault for the crash, especially when it is your word against the word of the other driver. Eyewitness testimony can also be important; however, an actual video of the accident can clear up questions regarding fault quickly.
Even though video evidence can be convincing, it is not always clear. Even if you have a video of your car crash, you should also consult a Maryland car accident attorney before speaking to the insurance adjuster. There could be other issues in your case that could create problems. An attorney can evaluate your case, identify any potential issues, and work to ensure that you receive a fair and just settlement for your injury claim.
Contact a Maryland Car Accident Attorney for a Free Case Review
You can get the legal advice you need without worrying about paying for that advice. We offer free consultations with Maryland car accident attorneys. Call Pinder Plotkin at 410-525-5337 to speak with a Maryland personal injury lawyer.